Disclaimer: I don't make any money off of this, so please don't sue.

Author's note: This is a little side project I'm working on, AU stories about how little changes that occur on Harry's thirteenth birthday could totally rearrange his life. If you like what I've written and even if you don't, let me know. Reviewers are spiffy people!   Also if any one has any comments on writing style or point of view I would love to hear about that.

The Basement

By Marz

Chapter 1: How I Ended Up Tied To This Chair

            I pulled as hard as I could, but I only managed to tip it forward onto the front two legs. I didn't want to fall on my face, so I let the chair settle back with a loud thump.

            I don't usually think of myself as a stupid person. I make stupid mistakes, but really, every one does that at some point. I should have gone with my first instinct, which was to run away and climb a tree, but I probably would have ended up here anyway. I'd have tripped or he'd have been faster. But what I did could be considered nothing but stupid.

            Parents are always telling their children not to pet strange dogs. I don't know if mine ever told me "Harry don't pet strange dogs", since I was a baby when they died, and I was probably too young for that lesson anyway. My aunt and uncle who "raised" me, never actually said not to pet strange dogs either, but my disgusting aunt Marge, who is not even my real aunt by the way, did manage to instill in me an anti-canine sentiment. She used to let her bulldog chase me around the yard, so I knew dogs could not be trusted. 

            This situation is more than a little "Aunt" Marge's fault anyway. She loved to talk down to me, and insult every thing from my height to the parents I couldn't even remember. I know now that she was trying to get a reaction out of me. Being unable to move has given me a lot of time to think about how I got into this mess. My first mistake was taking her bait. The second was causing her to blow up. The third, for which only I can take the fall, was giving a whining dog some stale cake I had in my trunk.

            I'd run out of the house, dragging my school trunk, I honestly I didn't have any idea where I was going. I was running on anger and adrenalin, but dragging a sixty pound trunk depletes both of those very fast. I finally had to stop and catch my breath on Magnolia crescent. I had some half formed crazy plan about flying to London and emptying my bank account when I felt something watching me. I should have run then, or flown, as I had my Nimbus 2000 with me, but no. What did I do? I turned around and squinted. I was sweating and my glasses were steamed up, so I took them off for a second and wiped them. When I could see somewhat accurately I took a step forward.

            There was an alley behind me, and as I approached it, a dog whined. I should have backed up and gotten away, but as dogs usually bark at me rather then whine, I let curiosity get the better of me and took another step. Out of the shadows came the biggest dog I'd ever seen. It was almost a bear, another signal to run that I missed. The dog walked right up to me, and whined again. It was covered in thick black fir and had strange pale blue eyes. Its tail wagged.

            A boy in my second grade class, Thomas, told me that if a dog wags its tail it's being friendly and you should hold out your hand so it could smell you. He said when you hold out your hand you should make a fist so if the dog is only pretending to be friendly, it has a harder time biting your fingers off. Thomas then said "ouch" because my cousin Dudley shoved him aside so he could take a swing at me. Thomas and I didn't talk much after that. Anyway I held out my hand to the dog and I supposed I passed the smell test. The dog licked my hand and I patted it on top of its head.

            I don't know what possessed me to like the dog. It was large and scary and smelled awful, but I guess it was just one of those stupid things I was talking about earlier. I went over to my school trunk and the dog followed me, tail swinging in the air like it was trying to get the attention of the 747 passing overhead. I thought the dog's whining sounded hungry. On the train ride to and from school, there's an old witch who sells sweets off a cart. I have more wizarding money then I know what to do with, so I always buy more junk food then I know what to do with. Usually my friend Ron and I eat most of it, but I remembered being a little too nauseous to finish off the last few cauldron cakes I'd purchased last June.      

            I dug them out of my trunk and unwrapped them for the dog. They were gone in less then three seconds and I thought it must have been starving because after it ate the cake, it spent about five minutes licking off my hands. Reflecting on that, I am now even more scared then I was five minutes ago.

            While the dog was sitting there, being friendly, I decided to burden it with my life story. The way it listened should have told me some thing was off, it even seemed to nod its head as I spoke. I sat on my trunk patting it and talking its ear off. I told it all about how I'd stormed out of the house, and had no where to go. I was thinking out loud at that point.

            "I think I'll go to Ron's house. They'll be back from vacation soon I expect. They like animals, I bet they'll let you stay too." I said to the dog. It had gone very quiet all of a sudden. "They have a pet rat, you'll probably not mind it though, Scabbers hardly ever wakes up."

            That's when things got frightening.

            The dog jumped up and growled. All the fur on its back stood up and drool flowed out of its mouth, enough to form a puddle around my feet.  I stood up and tried to back away. I opened my trunk and grabbed my wand. The dog barked then and I tripped. I fell right in the street, and it pounced on me a second later. I was lying in the road, with this monster of a dog on top of me. Its drool was dripping all over my neck and if I hadn't been too scared to do it I think I might have cried. Then the dog whined again.

            There was this huge bang, like wrecking ball hitting a wall, and then head lights were blinding me. I was sure I was going to die then, and I laughed. I've had psychotic maniacs trying to murder me since I was an infant, so getting killed by a combination of giant dog and motor vehicle must have tickled some part of my brain. A second before I was crushed under the wheels of the on coming bus, the strangest thing happened. There was a popping sound and suddenly it wasn't a dog pinning me in the street. It was a man.

            I recognized him immediately, long filthy hair, sunken eyes and the bones of his face practically coming up though his skin. It was Sirius Black. While my brain was putting all this together, Black snatched my wand out of my hand. I managed to get one syllable out of my mouth, and for some reason it was "Gah…" Even I don't know what I was trying to say. So was I shouting "Gah!" as Black swung the wand and a second later I wasn't anywhere.

            Actually I was here. But I don't know if here counts as anywhere. The lights have never come on. I can't see anything. All I know about my current location is the floor is wooden, (I learned this when Black tackled me as I made a run for it.) and there is a very uncomfortable chair. I know about the chair because I'm tied to it. Wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, chest, and waist all tied to it some how. I can't even lean forward enough to try and chew the ropes off or something. He hasn't been back since he tied me to the chair. I don't know how long ago that was. All I know is that going over my situation in my mind is only thing I have to distract my self from the growing pain in my bladder. If he's going to murder me I hope he lets me go to the bathroom first. It would be really embarrassing to die that way. Boy-Who-Lived Dead, found covered in his own piss. Malfoy would love that headline.

            I have to stop thinking like this. I will get out of here. I fought a snake bigger then the Dursley's entire house, damn it! This is just a man. A wizard maybe, but he can't be worse then Voldemort. I'll find a way out of this. I'm not going to freak out. I'm not going to break down. He's not going to get to me.

            The floor creaked, and a soft scraping noise shuttered through the stuffy air.

I think there's someone else in here.